It may sound premature, after all the Devils are still months away from being “officially” eliminated from playoff contention, but the numbers say that the team has virtually no hope of extending its string of 13 straight postseason appearances.In the five years since the lockout, the 8th and final team to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference has averaged just under 92 points. The current 8th seed, the Montreal Canadiens, is on pace for 93 points.
The Devils have 20 points in 35 games, meaning they’d need 72 more points the season’s final 47 games to reach 92.
That works out to 1.53 points per game, which would be a far better pace than the Vancouver Canucks, who currently have the NHL’s highest points per game at 1.4. It would also be a significantly higher pace than the 1.475 points per game mark of last year’s President’s Trophy (awarded to the team with the most points in hockey) winner, the Washington Capitals. No President’s Trophy winner has posted a better pace than the 1.53 points per game the Devils need since the Detroit Red Wings amassed 131 points in 1995-96.
In other words the Devils, who have shown no signs of turning things around, would have to start winning at a record pace to earn a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Considering all their issues, that’s not going to happen.
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